Educating next generation of entrepreneurs

Is it possible to educate young people for today’s demand for entrepreneurship and readiness for change? New Nordic Youth is a Danish one-year boarding school with exactly this ambition. IBM Denmark and New Nordic Youth collaborated on a case competition to bring together the students’ talent within technology, business and media design.

The 70 students visited IBM to kick off the case competition and get inspiration from three professional IBM’ers working with the areas technology, business and media design. Here they got the tools to turn their everyday challenges into a profitable business idea. During the following weeks, the students worked on the case and their start-up idea to further develop it.

The students visited IBM to kick off the case competition.

The students visited IBM to kick off the case competition.

The case work was rounded off with a great final where the students pitched their ideas to an IBM panel. They dressed up and presented their prototypes, business strategy and communication strategy. The ideas varied from an app to help you select your school to a scanner to register who was present where and again to a weight sensitive mattress to make sure you get up in the morning. Afterwards, two of the groups have chosen to keep working on their ideas.

One of the students has described the experience in his own words:

During the last couple of weeks my school has had a cooperation with IBM. It all started with the entire school getting on a bus and going to their workplace where we got short introduction, after which we were separated into the three skills departments of our school. We had some education from some real professionals, and that hour of education were one of the most educational I have ever had. Then we got an assignment. Split into groups of 5-6 people and come up with something that can make boarding school life better. My group and I came up with a number of different ideas but settled at making an app that will help you find the perfect boarding school. And with the help of our own teachers and a lot of feedback from the professionals, I think we came up with something pretty good. It was some hard weeks, every plan we had from the start, had to be washed out so we could pull through. In the end my group pulled through, and we ended up as the winners. Even now my group and I are working on the idea, hoping that one day it can get on the market. Now I just want to thank the IBM group for helping us see an opportunity.

– Rasmus Holmsten Pedersen, 17 years old, student at New Nordic Youth